Jean-Jacques Gauer, LHW chairman, didn?t mince words after welcoming guests. ?The luxury business-traveler segment is going away with great speed,? he noted. ?The current troubles are twice as marked for luxury.? Fueling this downturn, he said, is the fact that the number of luxury rooms throughout the world have doubled to 80,000 over the past 10 years.

For that reason, LHW, after years of record growth, ended the month of September 10 percent lower than the same period in 2007. That trend continued into October and November, according to Gauer.

Taking an overview of the entire luxury segment, Gauer noted that the super rich are spending regardless of the economy. Of note, he said, is the fact that the number of Asian billionnaires on the Forbes list jumped by one-third this year.

Get the full story at Travel Agent Central